Something crazy happened yesterday.
A woman from Northern California drove all the way down to San Diego and handed us the keys to her family’s Honda Pilot for us to use for the rest of the time we are here in the states before we head to Italy. I had never met or spoken to her before today.
I told you. CRAZY! Right?!
So if you will remember, I posted on my Facebook page about a week ago:
CAN ANYONE HELP? Thank you everyone for your excitement and prayers about our move to Italy! We really do mean it… if you head out to Italy (or anywhere in Europe really) please let us know and we will do our best to meet up with you or flat out host you while you visit. Since we are on a crazy roll… seems our prayers worked and Brian got a great offer on his Prius today so his car is sold!!! Which is awesome… BUT that means he has no car. Umm… yeah. So by some crazy chance does anyone in our circle of friends or friends of friends have a car we can borrow for the next 6-10weeks? Any car even a beater would work (so long as it works) because it is just his commuter car. Any leads would be appreciated. Thank you!!!
A friend of ours contacted us wanting to allow us use of her husbands car because he is deployed and the car is just sitting being stored and unused. We thought that would be perfect! Several other families offered to help and we were so appreciative but they came with various stipulations that would have been difficult for both parties to maneuver around… not impossible, but not cut and dry like the case with this car of the deployed spouse.
We were about to drive up to pick up the car this past Friday, when we get a call saying that borrowing the car wasn’t going to work out after all because of circumstances beyond her control. I can’t tell you why but that didn’t panic me. I told her not to worry because God would provide us with a car.
To be honest I kind of forgot about the car situation since it fell through on Friday. We’ve got the whole Italy move going on and having moved in with my in-laws this week. My husband turned thirty this weekend and a big party was in the works to celebrate. Then the cherry on top of a busy weekend was discovering lice in my daughters hair… so the car just wasn’t at the forefront of my worries even though it was a huge need (I’ll post about how we quickly got rid of the lice another time because we learned a lot of good stuff from some professionals).
We turned in our minivan to to be shipped to Italy two weeks ago and we’ve been using one of Brian’s parents cars to get by. Then Brian sold his car a week ago and we’ve had a loaner car for him to commute to work in but we’d have to return it soon because it too was being sold. So really how many cars can one family borrow in such a short amount of time?!
Come Sunday afternoon… in the midst of the lice fiasco, I get a text from the same friend with the deployed spouse asking if we still needed a car? UMMM… YES PLEASE... thinking that borrowing her husbands car was somehow going to end up working. She then informs me that her husbands parents (her in-laws whom she is staying with in Northern California while her husband is deployed) would like to lend us their Honda Pilot if we were willing to take it.
Me: I don’t think I understand?! They want to lend us their car? They don’t even know us and how would we get the car if it is in Northern California?
Her: My MIL will drive it down to you.
Me: That is crazy! Who would do that?! And how would she get home?
Her: She just asks you drive her to the airport so she can get home by tomorrow night because she has a class she doesn’t want to miss on Tuesday.
Me: Wait, what?! THAT IS CRAZY! She is going to fly back? And she is going to get this to us by tomorrow?
Her: Yes. I know it sounds crazy. It sounded crazy to me too. They told me at lunch today that they had been praying about how they could help you guys, I had no idea they were praying about it, but ever since I told them I was upset that we weren’t able to help you with my husbands car they got to praying. And they said the Lord confirmed in their hearts that they needed to lend you their car.
Me: I just don’t know what to say. I just think it is too crazy to let them do that. I’ll have to talk to Brian and get back to you.
Her: Okay. Call me back soon because she would like to book her flight asap… since you know, it’s tomorrow.
WHAT?! TELL ME WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH THAT INFORMATION?!!!
So I talked to Brian and my own in-laws (whom we too are currently living with while we transition to Italy) and we all kind of didn’t know how to respond. An initial thought that came up was to try and put the feelers out one more time to our friends and see if anyone local had another car we could use… you know before one had to come for us from the other end of the state.
Me: I know a lot of people here in San Diego, you’d think I would be able to find someone with a car locally. This just seems like too crazy a way to have this prayer answered.
In saying these words audibly as we processed, a couple of thoughts came racing to my mind:
- This was an answer to prayer. Many people have already begun praying for our journey and our needs and although this was crazy, it was in fact an answer to prayer.
- God can do crazy things in ways we can’t even begin to imagine! It says so in His word:
- I was trying to steal God’s glory. If I ignored this offer and went about re-posting our need for a car more than likely I could find someone with a car to lend. But if that were the case, who would get the glory? I would… because “I know a lot of people…” Who does? I DO. So it would be my efforts and my connections whom I would remain thinking I relied on, instead of the Lord, in spite of the many prayers that have been lifted on our behalf in his name.
So it seemed pretty clear. As crazy as it sounds, we had to accept this car.
I don’t yet understand why this car… from this person… who doesn’t even know me?!!! But as I met this kind hearted stranger today it was clear it didn’t matter that she didn’t know me or my husband, all that mattered was that she knew Him. She knew Jesus. And she was simply being obedient to drive down and lend us a car. That was a lot less convenient than what was being asked of me- which was simply to be gracious and receive the car from her… yet I was the one sitting here thinking this is too crazy!
As quickly as she arrived with the car, she left.
I drove her to the airport in the red Honda Pilot she delivered no more than an hour after she arrived. We are so grateful to their family and to this answer to prayer. What’s also crazy is that this whole time I was thinking we’d be getting a commuter car for Brian and instead we got the family car we could fit the whole family in.
As I drove back home from the airport, I had a couple of thoughts pressed upon me from the Lord:
- I have to be willing to receive His answers to prayer in the manner he chooses to answer them. That means how I think things will play out might not be the plan God has in mind. No matter how crazy it sounds.
- God is faithful to remember us and our needs in his timing. I had forgotten about the car dilemma in the business of the weekend and God was still faithful. I wouldn’t have chosen the end of this lice infested weekend to be the time to receive an out of town guest with a car, but that is how it worked out to meet our needs.
- I can’t rely on me and who I know apart from Him. In a couple of months I will be unable to simply post and ask friends to help because no one I know will be there to help. So I need to remember this moment and know that God doesn’t need me to know anyone in order to help me. So long as I know Him… and rest in his provision… he will work it all out.
There was terrible traffic on the way home, thanks to the rain, so I exited the freeway early in La Mesa planning to drive side streets the rest of the way home. On my detour I saw a sign that pointed to Mt. Helix and did something that felt a little daring to me at the time- I followed the sign. I abandoned the course home and decided to check out the top of the mountain. I have seen beautiful pictures of the top before, but have never been myself. What I found was breathtaking. The views of the San Diego stretched 360 degrees around me, even all the way to the ocean and at the height of it all… the cross. AMAZING.
I pray that this would be only the beginning of the many ways that we would be able to point to God and give him the glory in this crazy adventure that is Italy. Praise Him! There truly is no other way to explain this experience.
Thanks for the Honda Pilot!